Here's our Rachel.
Isn't she beautiful?
This photo of Ba Shu Ting was taken when she was just a few weeks old, and it was published as part of her "finding ad." The social welfare institutes are required to advertise children in their care before the little ones are declared abandoned and available for adoption.
We heard of an adoptive father who has a business that will search for your ad and provide you with a copy and a translation of the text. It's an important piece of our daughter's life history, so we wanted to get it for her. And, because we won't see her referral photos for another week, it offered us an advance glimpse of her sweet little face. The photo is a bit grainy, but we think her beauty shines through!
It's hard to describe what it was like to see our daughter for the first time. The emotions were overwhelming: I cried with joy at finally knowing who she is, but there were tears of sadness for her birth family, too. Looking at this adorable face and reading how she was dressed and where and when she was found just made my heart ache for the pain that family must have gone through. And I was amazed at how much love I already feel for a tiny little baby in a crib on the other side of the world.
Next week we'll get her referral photos. She will be a few months older in those photos, and they will be clearer and sharper. She might be posed in a chair or a walker or in front of a colorful cartoon mural. We'll make dozens of copies and post them here and send them to our family and friends.
But nothing will ever compare with our first glimpse of Rachel this morning.